4 steps to successful online fundraising in 2014

4 steps to successful online fundraising in 2014

Campaigns now have the unique opportunity to build intimate relationships with their supporters around the clock via their mobile devices. So don’t be shy: Your supporters want to hear from you.

One in four social media users, ages 10-34, believe that it’s important to receive information about candidates on their mobile devices. This is where you’re going to find your supporters, and this is how they are going to learn about your candidate.

But how do you leverage mobile devices to get your donors to give early and give often? Here are four steps you can take to help increase your online fundraising haul:

Starting today, all your emails should be formatted as a “mobile version.” Your first job is to drive donors to your website. Email is still the online king and makes up 94 percent of all the time people spend online. By January 2014, mobile email opens will surpass those of traditional computers. On top of that 70 percent of consumers delete emails that don’t render well on mobile devices. If that doesn’t give you enough reason to think only mobile for email, consider that 97 percent of emails are viewed just once. If you don’t catch a recipient’s interest when they see your email on their phone, you’ve lost them.

Your mobile optimized email better have a compelling fundraising call-to-action. If you think getting people to read our emails was hard when they were looking at their big computer monitors, well it just got harder now that your supporters are quickly skimming through our emails on their phones.

You only have your reader’s attention for about three seconds so make your message clear and visible without scrolling. Creating a compelling message to encourage your supporters to give is the hardest part of creating a fundraising email. Your message must be clear, concise, and compelling. Without providing your supporter with a good reason to take action, your efforts are for naught.

Your text should be clear and legible. I recommend using 14px fonts at the absolute minimum. Be direct and cut all unnecessary words from your copy.

Avoid screen clutter and keep your use of navigation or non-fundraising links to a minimum. Don’t sidetrack your recipient with superfluous distractions while they are taking in your awesome call-to-action.

Do test your email in all the major operating systems. There are lots of tools out there that can show you how your email will render in iOS, Android, or Windows Phone8.

Make it easy for supporters to give you their money. Mobile donations last cycle averaged about $107 per gift, so make it easy for your prospects to give. Prominently display your call-to-action as the visual priority of your message. Make your “Donate Now” button big and easily accessible by someone with fat fingers.

Mobile device payment technology is evolving quickly. Your objective should be to remove any sort of friction around the donation process. The web already eliminates the need to hunt down envelopes, stamps, the printing of donation forms and that long walk to the mail box.

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